Concerning the vertical or horizontal fist, you also have to consider the difference between punching bare-knuckles and punching with a taped-and-bandaged fist inside a boxing glove. I learned orthodox boxing techniques first, straight shots palm down, horizontal fist. (and broke the scaphoid bone in my right wrist making a bad landing on the Heavy bag about 14 years ago throwing an onthodox right cross. Never got the bone fixed, and now my wrist is starting to hurt regulary. Surgery and 6 months in a cast if I opt to get it fixed. Arthritis and chronic pain if I don't.) Years later, I came across Dempsey's book, "Championship Fighting", and the first time I took my place before the Heavy bag, took that falling step and landed the stepping left jolt, I said, "That's it! That's what I've been looking for!" I could FEEL the solid impact, and while folks might mistake it for a left jab, it's different, and is a stepping left jolt...thrown with a vertical fist, aiming with the ring finger resulting in a 3 knuckle landing. I wished I'd had that book 20 years ago. Carefully explains how to maximize the power on the uppercuts and hooks too, and Dempsey always with an eye that these are self-defense skills to protect yourself, not to "win professional boxing matches on points." The self-defense aspect was all-important to me. It actually feels awkward for me now to throw straight shots at the bag the traditional way with a horizontal fist. I don't feel the impact the way I feel it on straight shots with the vertical fist. The vertical fist is the way the old bare-knuckle fighters of the late 1800's threw straight punches. Throw a high hook to the side of the head the way Mike Tyson used to do, but with bare-knuckles, and you'll suffer multiple breaks in your hand. I think the techniques changed based on the switch to gloves from bare-knuckles.